West Georgia CME Luggage Drive

Take a moment to imagine being removed from your home, not knowing where you will be going, and having nothing suitable for your belongings other than a trash bag. This is what happens every day to children placed in foster care.

In response, the West Georgia Region (CME Church) Board of Christian Education supported the “Pan- Methodist Campaign Luggage Drive for Children in Poverty and Foster Care” during its Annual Conference. Over 100 pieces of new luggage were given to the following agencies that service children in the foster care system: Benchmark Foster Care Services, Inc, Muscogee County Department of Family and Children Services, and CASA.

The luggage drive was designed to give agencies the resources needed to rid “the trash bag” perception for the children affected. Ms. Shiann W. Williamson, Campaign Coordinator for the West Georgia Region, reports on the story and impact of a former foster care child who spoke at the worship service celebrating the luggage drive:

“The speaker shared from a place, that many of us cannot imagine, which showed her amazing resilience. She enriched our spirit by opening up her life to us. And she increased our church/community awareness to get involved with children at risk to poverty.

“The speaker brought tears to our eyes as she explained how she was able to overcome her own unstable and unpleasant childhood moving from one place to another in the foster care system. She did not allow herself to be overtaken in her place of darkness and sadness even though she was rejected and abused by her mother and targeted by other children in school.

“She always excelled academically which was a blessing for her. She presently is a senior at Columbus State University. She just completed an internship abroad in Costa Rica. She is an intern with the Russell County Juvenile Court and works full time. She is also a 2011 Recipient of a Scholarship from the Georgia Celebration of Excellence—a scholarship for foster children. She continues to seek a positive relationship with the family who rejected her and she holds no resentment.

“We hope that our luggage blessing will be helpful to the agencies that serve children in poverty and foster care. Special thanks is given to Bishop Kenneth W. Carter for leading the West Georgia Region in giving additional funds to purchase new luggage pieces for the luggage campaign.”

Cheryl Johnson, West Georgia Region, South Columbus Cordele District Children in Poverty Coordinator; Rev. Billy Holloway- North Columbus/Lagrange District Children in Poverty Coordinator; Shiann Williamson, West Georgia Region Pan –Methodist Campaign for Children in Poverty Director


Visit the 'Be Involved' page to see how congregations and annual conferences are reporting on their faith in action for children in poverty.


Reading the Campaign booklet is a first step for becoming familiar with this initiative. It offers information and resources to encourage your activism. It can be viewed and downloaded at The Campaign page.

We hope that you will contribute information about your work with children. Descriptions of your ministries will be helpful to others who want to deepen their involvement to care for children in poverty.

You can influence the Campaign’s effectiveness.  Be involved.  Offer your ideas.  Encourage others.

Trusting in God, we dare to envision a world in which every child experiences love, care, and hope. Together we can be the difference in the lives of children in poverty.



More Annual Conferences Join Campaign

August 2017:  Welcome Dakotas Conference UMC where Rev. Rebecca Trefz is the Campaign liaison, and the Minnesota Conference where Rev. Lyndy Zabel is the liaison.

Welcome new liaisons

Spring 2016: We are delighted to welcome the Rev. LaVeatrice Crockrum as liaison with Birmingham Region (Alabama) of CME, and Ms. Judith Yohane representing AME Malawi Central, Malawi North, Malawi South, Central Zimbabwe, Northeast Zimbabwe and Southwest Zimbabwe Annual Conferences!

More Annual Conferences Join Campaign

December 2015: Welcome Nigerian Annual Conference (CME), Rev. Koko Sunday Daniel, liaison; Liberia Annual Conference (CME), Rev. Christian Keller, liaison; Ghana/Togo Conference (CME), Rev. Sampson Fianko, liaison)


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